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Old 06-22-17, 02:58 PM
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Join Date: 10-02-02
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Played Hawthorne Valley in Solon a couple days ago:

A Donald Ross design that was private for 80+ years finally going public a few years ago. Got to play it a few times when it was one of the Jewish private clubs on the east side of CLE; while conditions are solid it is not quite up to where they were during their private days. Specifically the sand traps are a little rough and on some holes the rough was not cut in quite a few days leading to some lost balls that missed the fairway by only a few paces. In general it appears they are saving $s on mowing cost as some areas that use to be mowed, like the area under the tress in parallel fairways, has turned into hay. Greens were great though and would make me go back again.

Nonetheless you have to love the fact you can now play another classic Ross course with some great examples of his famous touches like false front greens, elevation changes that require strategy from the tee and diabolical green complexes for a great price. 17 below is a great example. From the back tee only 440 yards but its a slight dogleg right so anything on the right side of the fairway and you are blocked by the trees, left of the fairway and you may run into the lake. The 2nd shot to a pedestal green though is where things get really interesting. Back when it was private the rough on the left side was cut short so any miss left of the green was in the lake, if short you would roll back onto the shaved pitching apron and have a knee knocker 10 feet up to the green, if right you hoped that the rough would catch it before the woods but then again the green slopes severely to the lake and it almost never held a ball hit from that side. The English style pot bunker was probably the best path to save par but you better be able to get the ball up quickly and stop it on a dime. Wonder what it was like playing this thing in 1927 when the course was opened?

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